Around Kent

By Ann Kardos Published:

Happy Thanksgiving! Here are some good words from Harry A. Ironside, "We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction."

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Just a note about the Kent City Schools' schedule this week. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the district has parent-teacher conferences. Therefore, students will be off school beginning Tuesday and through the rest of the week.

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If you want to do something more than just watch a parade on TV on Thanksgiving morning, then get out of the house and join other Kentites at the 44th annual Brunch Bunch Auction. This event is a fundraiser for local charities and meets at the American Legion Hall from 8 a.m. until noon.

For just a $3 donation at the door, attendees will get unlimited coffee, cider and doughnuts. Proceeds from the auction will benefit Kent Social Services, The Center of Hope, Coleman Professional Services' Adult Day Food Program, and The Lord's Pantry emergency food cupboard.

The Brunch Bunch committee is accepting donated items for the auction and monetary donations at Hall-Green Agency at 146 N. DePeyster St. in Kent.

Also, donations are being collected at Portage Community Bank locations in Ravenna at 1311 E. Main St. and in Kent at 1532 S. Water St. For event information, contact Michelle Hartman at 330-815-4315.

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Mark your calendars now for the Women's Social Club of Kent's Christmas "Party with a Purpose" on Dec. 15. They are hoping to make this inaugural event an annual fundraiser to benefit their scholarship program. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. There will be food, games, a 50/50 raffles, drinks and a disc jockey. The party will begin at 8 p.m. at the Ravenna Elks, located at 776 N. Freedom St. To purchase tickets, contact Kim O'Neil at 330-247-8791 or Cynthia Jones at 330-296-3475.

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After seeing photos for the past three weeks of the absolute devastation on the East Coast, I saw this quote on Facebook: "Black Friday ... only in America (do) people trample over each other for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have."

It made me feel a little gross inside, honestly. I hope that this year we can "do Christmas" differently. I hope that we can say "no" to shopping on Thanksgiving Day. I hope that we can say "no" to waiting in lines outside a store's doors and shoving and pushing to save 50 percent on stuff that we may not really need. Buying stuff is fine! Buying gifts is fun! I'm all for it … but not how many of us have done it. The "Big Box" stores have calculated how much money you (yes, you) have to spend on holiday shopping this year. They are battling each other for the biggest percentage of your budget. That sounds yucky and not very merry to me.

So, why not join me in exclaiming in our best 10-year-old kid voices, "You're not the boss of me!"

Let's "do Christmas" differently. Nov. 24 has been named "Small Business Saturday." I challenge you to see how many unique, meaningful gifts you can find at local, small shops.

Kent is filled with great stores. The employees would love to help you find the perfect gift for your loved ones. Nearly every restaurant in Kent has gift certificates you can buy. Think about buying service gifts like hair styling, manicures, lawn care, snow removal, and (shameless plug) newspaper subscriptions ... (hee-hee). Those can be really thoughtful gifts, too.

Once you've shopped as much as you can in Kent, then circle out to other Portage County communities. Remember, when you shop in Stow, Cuyahoga Falls and Akron, then Summit County benefits from your sales tax dollars. That isn't "bad," but our county sure could use your support through that revenue.

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In this season, it is a good thing to remember our countless blessings. As we remember ours, consider the residents of New Jersey and New York who are still reeling from Superstorm Sandy.

There are organizations such as hospitals, churches, The American Red Cross, and The Salvation Army who are doing the tough work of cleanup and caring for hurting and homeless people.

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Don't get me wrong, I know that Christmas isn't about the presents. To quote "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," "He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. 'Maybe Christmas,' he thought, ... 'doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, ... means a little bit more!'"

The holiday season is really about expressing love to everyone we meet. The tricky thing is to recognize how people understand love.

So, here's a hint from Dr. Gary Chapman's best-selling book "The Five Love Languages." People receive love though basically five different ways: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. Think of the people on your gift list. Think of their personalities. If you put away the notion that "it's just easier to get everyone a blender," then you will save money and make people happier.

For example, my grandfather hated getting presents. It was a nightmare shopping for him, and he never liked what we got him. The things that he treasured, though, were cards, photographs, and hand-written letters. When I figured that out, I made more effort to give him what would make his heart happy.

Granny didn't like getting more things that she would have to dust, but she loved getting her hair done. So, no more Christmas sweaters and figurines, but salon gift certificates.

The gift of quality time in this season of busy could be the most cherished gift of all. Turn off the TVs, put away the Facebook, unplug your earbuds. Please speak sweetly and care deeply this year. That will make it the best Christmas ever ... until next year, at least.

(So, there's my two cents.)

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For Kent news, contact Ann Kardos at 330-931-9420 or ann@kentlogos.com.

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